Keller Williams and The Keels headline KOTO Doo-Dah

Keller Williams and The Keels headline KOTO Doo-Dah

[click “Play” to listen to Susan’s conversation with Keller Williams]


15TH ANNUAL KOTO DOO-DAH Getting tickets to the Telluride Bluegrass Festival can be sketchy at times: the recent 38th annual event sold out virtually overnight. Keller Williams and The Keels performed at the 37th Telluride Bluegrass in 2010. That set breathed new life into old classics, as the trio showcased their hit release “Thief.”

Missed the show? It was a doozy, but you are in luck: You get a second chance when Keller and The Keels headline the 15th annual KOTO Doo-Dah, Saturday, July 9, 2011, starting at 4 p.m.

In performance, Keller’s fertile imagination is always on display, running with determination from original tunes to instrumentals and covers and across genres: alternative/punk rock, hip hop and jamband. The virtuosic musicality and harmonies of Larry and Jenny Keel, a former Telluride guitar champ and bassist respectively, ground the quirky performer. Collectively the threesome deliver razzle-dazzle licks drawn from a broad and colorful musical vocabulary. For stripped down, acoustic fun, there is  simply nothing better.

Keller’s thirst for music of all kinds led him to the world of radio. For the past seven years he has hosted Keller’s Cellar, a weekly syndicated program available on both terrestrial stations and online at Williams describes the show as “a self-indulgent,hour-long narrated mix tape of stuff I’m into. It’s rule-less except for what the FCC says we can’t do. I don’t play contemporary country music. I don’t play contemporary Christian music—however, there is possibly some old gospel. I don’t play opera. Everything else is fair game. World music from all around—African music from all the countries, jazz, funk, reggae, techno, chill, lounge, lounge singers, rub-a-dub, dancehall. I pretty much stay away from smooth jazz. It’s definitely a fun outlet for me.”

Telluride’s KOTO radio never played by the rules either. From the start, our local station made it up as it went along.

KOTO’s history is the history of Telluride from the days of hippies to the present era of relative financial stability – and hippies. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had a small niche in its restrictive regulations that allowed a private nonprofit to build and operate a 10-watt FM radio station. Into that niche jumped a odd assortment of locals. An application was filed. Time, money and space were provided by dozens of folks. Town Council came up with $10,000 over two years for equipment. The FCC said “Do it.” KOTO was legally broadcasting on October 3, 1975. Since then, our radio station has been entirely supported by the greater Telluride community. No advertising. No underwriting.

The Doo Dah is the culmination of  KOTO’s summer fundraising activities. For tickets, go to; KOTO radio, 207 N. Pine; Wizard Entertainment, Telluride; Cimarron Books, Ridgway; and Southwest Sound, Durango.

For a history of Keller Williams, click on this link from an earlier interview on Telluride Inside… and Out.

For an update and to preview Keller’s KOTO show, click the “play” button and listen to our recent interview.

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